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Citation:Edwards, A., & Warin, J. (1999). Parental involvement in raising the achievement of primary school pupils: Why bother? Oxford Review of Education, 25(3), 325-341.

This article explores British teachers' rationales for involving parents in their child's education. The researchers found that most of the rationales given for involving parents related to one-way communication from the school to parents so that parents could better understand what the school was trying to do. Increasing student self-esteem was also a common rationale for parent involvement. Most of the responses did not mention raising student performance as a rationale for involving parents. Data were gathered using a mailed questionnaire to participants of a five-year funded initiative to raise student achievement in 70 schools. The authors contend that many parental involvement "schemes" seek to conform parents to the values of the school system and use parents as a tool of the school to meet the schoolÕs needs. Through this process, working class mothers are redefined as students to be educated, rather than equal partners. The authors also contend that schools are attempting to use parents to help deliver an unwieldy, large curriculum in formal waysÑin effect trying to turn parents into assistant teachers, rather than utilizing a parentÕs unique strengths and role as a motivator. Because this study was conducted in Great Britain, results should be generalized to the United States with some caution. However, the article includes a thorough discussion of parent involvement and the appropriateness of roles that parents are asked to play in their child's education.

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